There has been debate on whether the music business in Kenya pays well and whether it can sustain an artist. Many have had to keep their formal jobs and do music on the side, but with formal training in other professional fields, some have attributed the juggling to underperformance. But when they are not behind desks in offices, these artists are giving their full attention to the art that is music.
Speaking at a TV interview in the past, singer Rufftone once said there is a need to make it easier for artists to fully depend on their art.
When asked, many assume that Kenyan musicians got into the art out of desperation to make money. However, these talented artists had many options and only ventured into music out of their love for it – it was never really about the money.
This is evident in research that shows some of Kenya’s musicians are actually well educated, with some holding University degrees in fields that have nothing to do with music.
The singer who has been in the music industry for decades graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Architecture. He is also linked to the Hub in Karen, known for its great design.
- Elani’s Wangui Ngugi
When one says Elani, the first words that pop into your head are “perfect harmony”. When she is not belting out the perfect tunes and lyrics, Ngugi is making numbers make sense, a skill she acquired during her training at the University of Nairobi as an Actuarial scientist.
- Maureen Kunga
Apart from Elani’s Wangui Ngugi, fellow band member Kunga is also a sucker for the smarts. Kunga, a lawyer, is reported to have scored straight As in high school and thus went on to pursue an LLB from the University of Nairobi as well.